To advance in today’s competitive business environment, you need more than a bachelor’s degree. An MBA degree – considered the gold standard of business degrees – will help you open the door to new careers, position yourself for leadership opportunities, and significantly boost your earning potential. Read on to learn why you should earn a Master of Business Administration, what it can mean for your career, and what to look for in an MBA degree program.
Michigan Tech’s online graduate programs in business and engineering rank in the top 40 of such programs nationwide. Best online rankings released today by US News and World Report rated Michigan Tech’s online graduate engineering program 35th of 74 programs and Tech’s online MBA program placed 36th of 239 programs.
“This is very good news for Michigan Tech,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School. “Given our remote location, our efforts to provide graduate education online allows us to reach a larger number of students than we can otherwise.
“We at Michigan Tech know that we have high-quality offerings, and it is great to see that we are beginning to receive the recognition we deserve,” Huntoon went on to say. “Of course, the faculty members involved in teaching the courses and advising the students are the ones who deserve the most credit for these achievements.”
Wayne Pennington, interim dean of the College of Engineering, was pleased with Tech’s online graduate engineering programs ranking.
“We are proud that our online graduate electrical and mechanical engineering degree programs are directed toward real-world applications where skills and expertise are greatly needed, and where employment opportunities are strong,” he said. “In addition to our MS and PhD degree programs, our graduate certificates in advanced electric power engineering and hybrid vehicle engineering help to meet the needs of today’s highly skilled workplace.”
Eugene Klippel, dean of the School of Business and Economics, said: “We are pleased that the US News and World Report rankings confirm the success of our efforts to provide an outstanding MBA online program. Contributing greatly to the success of our Tech MBA Online program is a knowledgeable and experienced faculty. This program offers a unique curriculum designed to strengthen the business skills of professionals working in an environment characterized by rapid-paced innovation and technological change. We are extremely pleased by the demonstrated success of graduates from this program.”
US News evaluated online programs on the basis of student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology.
Article from Tech Today. Written by Jenn Donovan, public relations director, January 15, 2013.
The MBA online program in Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics placed 47th of 197 online graduate business programs in new rankings released today by US News & World Report. Tech’s online master’s degree program in engineering also made the magazine’s 2013 national rankings, earning 41st place among 66 online graduate programs in engineering that were ranked.
“The Tech MBA Online program was created to provide an innovative curriculum guided by experienced and knowledgeable business faculty,” said Gene Klippel, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “Professionals looking to advance their career, even in a challenging economy, can benefit from learning and understanding technology and innovation within organizations. A ranking in the top 50 from US News confirms that our program is on track for continued success for students, our School and Michigan Tech.”
US News defines an online education program as one for which all the coursework can be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based learning technologies. Among criteria evaluated were graduation rate, class size, one-year retention rate, time to degree, graduate entrance exam scores and grade point averages of students, percentage of PhD and tenured faculty, and technologies and services available to students.
For the first time this year, US News added a peer assessment survey of deans and top distance learning higher education academics employed by schools ranked in 2012.
“It is a wonderful testament to the dedication of our faculty and staff that we have achieved these rankings,” said Graduate School Dean Jackie Huntoon. “I am happy to see that both the business and engineering online programs are getting the positive attention they deserve.”
“Michigan Tech’s online MBA program is really quite young, and already it is ranked in the top third of all ranked programs nationwide. This is a remarkable achievement,” Huntoon went on to say. “The number and quality of offerings in engineering continues to grow each year. I am continually impressed by the comments I hear from students and employers who tell me that they chose Michigan Tech because of our focus on real-world applications and because of the quality and commitment of our faculty.”
The nine students in Michigan Technological University’s MBA program returned from India with a new appreciation for how the rest of the world does business.
“We chose Bangalore because it’s the Silicon Valley of India,” said Jodie Filpus, who directs recruitment and admissions for the MBA program.
The online MBA program includes three residencies, during which the students leave their far-flung homes to meet in person with each other and their professors. Two residencies are held on the Michigan Tech campus. The third and final residency involves a week of international travel. “We do this so the students will be exposed to different cultures, as well as to introduce them to international businesses,” Filpus said.
It would be hard to imagine a city more different from Houghton than Bangalore. “It’s a very interesting place,” she said. “It’s beautiful in many respects, with its temples and palaces, and it’s so rich in history.” However, the population in the city of over 8 million has grown by over 65 percent in the last 10 years and its infrastructure hasn’t kept up, “so it gave me an appreciation for what we have here.”
Led by Assistant Professor Latha Poonamallee of the School of Business and Economics and accompanied by Filpus, the MBA students visited several different organizations, from a pharmaceutical manufacturer to a nonprofit that provides solar-energy-system financing for poor villages.
“It was my privilege to design and lead this international residency, which was a fitting culmination of a well-designed, innovative MBA program that put the School of Business and Economics on the map among top online MBA programs in the country,” Poonamallee said.
During the spring semester, the students prepared for their trip by researching each of the companies and identifying a disruptive innovation to discuss with officials and offer potential solutions. Disruptive innovations are marketplace game-changers, such as iPods and cell phones, that upend earlier technologies.
Assistant Professor Andre Laplume taught them how. First they studied the companies’ products and strategies. “Then they proposed a new business for them to get into,” he said. “They described a new product, developed a rationale explaining why it should be adopted, and wrote an essay about it for their final exam.
“By the time they got to Bangalore and faced the company executives, they had something to bring to the table,” Laplume said. Not only was it a good opportunity to see how businesses function overseas, it also gave the students—most of them middle managers—a chance to display their skills before top-level executives.
Before traveling to Bangalore, student Holly Lehto had already put Tech’s MBA curriculum to good use. “Throughout the program I’ve been reaping the benefits,” she said. “A lot of concepts in the case studies are applicable to my day to day work.”
Her final exercise was to study the Bangalore-based market research firm Mu Sigma. “We talked about the possibility of going public, and we also discussed the possibility of capturing data from electrical transmission lines and selling it to clients,” said Lehto, a project manager for Allonhill, a Denver-based firm that provides due diligence and risk management services to the mortgage industry. “It was empowering to have the ear of these global executives, who were truly interested in hearing what we had to say.”
And there were revelations, said Mike Vigrass, manager of a natural gas compressor station with DT Energy-Michigan in Detroit. “I have traveled internationally, but not to India, and I was quite surprised at how much business was conducted in English,” he said. “At one of the site visits, we talked about the fact that India’s wages are going up, so that they are losing a competitive edge, and their answer was compelling. They said they think in English, which gives them an advantage over other emerging markets, where they have to translate the conversation.”
Another eye-opener was the visit with the nonprofit SELCO, which works to provide solar systems to the poor. “I found that very interesting,” Vigrass said. “Among US corporations, it’s all about market share, getting bigger. For SELCO, it’s about meeting their customers’ expectations.”
Resource-stretched Bangalore has had trouble grappling with its own growth, he noted. “The population has exploded, and it’s hard for them to keep up their infrastructure.”
That culture shock did not take away from the trip, however. If anything, it made it even more worthwhile. “It was a very valuable experience, just to see how people in other parts of the world work and how they think,” Vigrass said.
Lehto agreed. “Both from a business and a cultural perspective, it was such an amazing trip,” she said.
Watch the Tech MBA Online India Residency in pictures
Learn more about the Tech MBA Online.
The accolades continue to accumulate for the Tech MBA Online program. It is now rated in the top twenty-five nationally, according to the Business MBA website (www.businessmba.org). The School of Business and Economics’ program was ranked number thirteen and in some impressive company. Florida, Florida State, Auburn, UMass, Colorado State, Georgia, and Arizona State are all on the list.
Of the Tech MBA Online, the website stated, “The nationally ranked School of Business and Economics at Michigan Technological University is known for its commitment to the business of technology as well as the technology of business education.” They gave the Tech program high marks for being American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) accredited, the fact that it can be completed in two years, and its focus on the integration of technology and business.
“This recognition comes at a critical time as the cost of education continues to increase,” said Associate Dean Tom Merz. “Our goal is to provide a high-quality education while not sacrificing learning and professional development in an online learning environment.”
The website also stated that “. . . we’re confident that the combination of high quality and low cost offered by the programs on our list gives students looking to get the biggest bang for their MBA buck a great place to start their search.”
Previously, the Tech MBA Online was recognized by US News and World Report among the honor roll programs in their first-ever online rankings. Michigan Tech was ranked 24th in Admission Selectivity and 38th in Teaching Practices and Student Engagement, among the 161 online graduate business programs honored.
Written by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor in University Marketing and Communications.